The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Tag: stuff

So You Want To Be a Superhero

Welcome to lesson one of the self-paced training session “So You Want To Be a Superhero”. This course consists of 25 lessons, which should be completed in numbered order. You should never attempt to jump to Lesson 15, Stopping a Moving Vehicle with Your Feet” until after you complete Lesson 5, “Verifying Your Personal Strength Limits” and Lesson 9, “Are You Invincible?”

WE CANNOT STRESS HIGHLY ENOUGH THAT SKIPPING LESSONS MAY CAUSE BLISTERING, HEARING LOSS AND/OR DEATH.

Also, lesson-skippers will be blacklisted at the Justice League of America and superhero employment opportunities will simply not be available to you.

Lesson 1: Introduction to Superheroing

Many people who sign up for this class are under the mistaken impression that just about anyone can be a superhero. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not everyone can be a superhero. Some people can’t even be heroes without proper adult supervision.

Here are some questions we would like you to consider before you continue on with your lessons:

Am I Likable?
While not a requirement, it really does help you run your superhero empire if people naturally like you. If you are hateable, people will question your motives, and are likely to try to sue you for the damage you’ll do in the line of duty. Put a whole in a building to stop bank robbers and a likable hero will get a medal. An unlikable one will get a bill for repairs.

 What is My Motivation?
Did bad guys do you wrong? Are you trying to avenge something? Or are you taking this class because you hate math and thought it would be a good way to get on television? Being a superhero is not easy. You’re never fully off duty. You want to go on vacation to the Grand Canyon? You’ll probably spend your time there preventing some villain from trying to fill it with quick-drying cement.

How will I look in Spandex?
This question should not be ignored. Superheroes are attention magnets. You will receive lots of press exposure, and looking good is part of the gig. Nobody wants to be rescued by a guy with a beer belly stretching the limits of his uniform. Are you willing to commit to do the work it takes to keep the spandex lump-free?

 Do You Overheat Easily?
How do you handle warm weather? Do you sweat a lot, get a red face and just generally feel miserable when you get warm? Go get a refund on this course right now. Almost all superheros have alter-egos to hide their true identity. Those alter-egos are nice normal people who wear nice normal clothing. You, however, will be wearing the equivalent of long underwear under your street clothes 24 hours a day. Do you know how hot that can get? Try putting on a shirt and pants over that uniform. Layers suck in the summer. You cannot get away from it, because you need to be in uniform at a moment’s notice. Sure, some superheroes decide to just forgo the alter-ego and be in uniform all the time. They don’t get a single moment’s peace. Everyone needs something every minute of the day.

Are You Prepared to Trust No One?
Nobody but nobody is trustworthy. Your girlfriend? She’s been mind-controlled by your nemesis. Your parents? They have been infected with a toxic mind mold by the League of Doom. Your “best friend”? He’s turned to the dark side and become the Green Goblin. You can never really fully trust anyone. Maybe even the people teaching this course.

Think about it.

Response to Your Fan Letter

Hey there, Fan!

It was a real thrill receiving your fan letter! As you can imagine, there are days when I get a lot of fan letters, and it is hard to write back to anyone personally because I have that Psychosomatic Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, which is aggravated by actions like responding personally to all my fan mail.

I always thought it would be fun to receive giant bags of mail like you’d see on the Monkees, but it turns out that I haven’t hit that level of fame and fortune yet, so your letter arrived with the normal mail. Kohls is having a 3-day sale and I’m invited, so I should try to hurry up and finish this note so I can go look for my car keys. I normally keep them on the counter but I don’t see them there, and they aren’t in the bathroom so they could be anywhere. Maybe in my purse. Or perhaps still in the car.

Anyhoo.

I hope you don’t mind that I’m sending out a generic response that addresses most of the standard questions and comments that I receive from my many many fans on a nearly regular basis. I apologize if your question or comment is not directly reflected upon in this reply. If it helps, you can replace some of the key terms in this response with something more appropriate for your initial communication. For example, if I say “I like popcorn too!” but your fan letter mentioned cake, you may replace “popcorn” with “cake”. However, if your fan letter discussed most vegetables, you may want to replace popcorn with “food” because that’s a true statement, where “I like brussel sprouts too!” is not.

Hey! I’m so glad you wrote to me! I was sitting around, wondering which wall would be best for putting up another mirror, when the mail arrived. So many questions and comments from a person such as yourself! I do enjoy being me. I think I’m really good at it, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to be me. I don’t think I’ll be in your town any time soon unless you actually live near me, in which case, “cool!”

My favorite crayon color is orange. My favorite fruit? Blueberries. I drive a red car but I have never been stopped for speeding. I do like pets and yours is just swell! Unless your pet has gone to the Rainbow Bridge, in which case I’m very sorry to hear about it. [Why are you writing me a fan letter about your dead pet?]

I do like pizza and roses and funny movies. No, I will not go on a date with you; I’m not that kind of girl/I don’t even know you/I have cooties. I do not dress like a hobo, that’s a pretty insulting thing to say for a “fan!” I’m starting to think I don’t have anything more to say to you unless you were going to offer me a book deal or some kind of maid service, in which case, keep ’em coming!

Very sincerely yours,

The Object of Your Admiration

Oh Lord, I’m Lazy

I’m typing this on my bed. Downstairs, gerbil Suzy is on her wheel, and the wheel is squeaking. But I don’t want to go downstairs to take the wheel out because
a) I don’t want to get out of bed
b) I don’t want to go downstairs
c) I don’t want to have to wash my hands after taking out the wheel.

I wonder if it would be a bad thing to wake up Junior and make him do it. Maybe if I used a stern mom voice he wouldn’t question my sanity. Out loud.

What If I’m Attacked By Wasps?

I tried my son’s shampoo today. It’s kid’s shampoo – watermelon “flavored”. I thought it might be a good idea because, well, it was 6 o’clock in the morning and that’s the kind of decision I make without coffee.

It was sweet smelling. Not so much like watermelon as just sugary watermelon syrup smell. I started to think about it – putting sugar on my head might not be a good idea. What if I get attacked by wasps today? I mean, have you ever seen them around a soda can? My head is like a giant invitation!

Now I’m going to have to wear a bag over my head to keep the wasps away. Suave really should have put that warning on the side of the bottle.

Thumbs Up to Netflix on Xbox 360

I know that my many, many regular readers (all 3 of you) have been wondering where I’ve been. Just a little family thing involving surgery, but the patient is home and should be driving everyone crazy within a day or so, max. Also, I did live through a round of layoffs, but what happens is the remaining people get to divvy up the work of the people who are gone. You do the math. Oh, so all that stuff has also put me almost impossibly behind on NaNoWriMo. I will try to make up my word count this weekend, but I’m just not sure how well that is going to work.

Last night we checked out the upgrades Microsoft did to the Xbox 360 software, and decided to link up to our Netflix account. VERY easy to do, and boom, suddenly everyone in the house saw all the crappy movies I had placed in the “View Instantly” queue. Urp. “Why do you have a Scooby Doo movie in there?” “For Junior!” We watched a Pink Panther cartoon (from a collection) and the movie Underdog. There were a LOT of things that bothered me about the movie, but overall, I was not the target audience and it was really kind of cute. And hey, free with my Netflix membership, right?

Stupid Adventures in Nano-ing

My novel sucks. But it usually does. I went off on a long ramble in an attempt to hit 10k words this morning. I need to write 4k this morning to be back where I’m supposed to be by now. “Supposed to be” is relative, of course. I’m sure if I focused I could actually be close to done. I just get easily distracted by shiny objects, like the “Watch Instantly” feature on Netflix that was finally released to beta for Macintosh. I may never leave my comfy chair again.

Here’s the excerpt for you. Not criticism is allowed, the whole point is to write, not to write well.

I flipped open my phone to read the text message. I have to do that because of the model phone I have. It is so funny, if this were 10 years ago, I would be so mady in love with this phone, and the simple act of flipping it open would give me thrill like no other because it is so futuristic and I could pretend I am James T. Kirk. Not that I wouldn’t do that even if I did not have a flip phone that looks a bit like a tri-corder. I want to state for the record that I am not a science fiction geek, but I am a television geek and while the two may seem very similar they are very different. The only reason I think having a tri-corder phone is cool is because it was on a famous television show. Actually, I would probably be just as excited to have the telephone on the wall from Lassie or the one at the top of the telephone pole from Green Acres. Okay, the last part might be a little bit of a stretch. While I am a huge Green Acres fan, the thought of having to climb up to the top of a telephone pole to answer the phone or make a call is a little daunting to me. Daunting might not even be the right word, but after a while, I’m pretty sure I would balance an old-fashioned answering machine up on the top of the pole and never answer the phone again. That’s another thing. In today’s world of phone company voice mail, there is no way in hell I could ever get to the top of a telephone pole to answer the phone before it went to voice mail.

Tinky Winky All Full UP

You know, it occurs to me that I have not had to watch an episode of Teletubbies in a good 8 years. I could not tell you if it is even possible to watch an episode if you wanted to. As Martha would say, that’s a good thing.

But to this day, it is etched into my brain with the shaky hand of a youth with one of those wood burning kits. Ya, I know, ouch.

I still say “Tinky Winky all full up.” It may or may not drive the people forced to live with me crazy. I cannot help this, it’s just the way it is. So when it was time to write a post about how I have successfully filled up the hard drive on my laptop, I wrote the title up at the top without a second thought. But that’s not true, because I did have a second thought, a little bit later. I left the title the way it was anyway. I’m like that.

So my hard drive is full. Let me just spit that out before my mind wanders any further and you’re left wondering what the hell made you read this far. I am trying to burn data to disks before either moving it to the backup drive (I’m anal. I trust nothing, especially an external backup drive). I have successfully given myself 3 whole gigs of free space, which will at least allow me to run the computer without worrying that it will begin to throw fits. I want to be the only thing at my desk throwing fits, doncha know.

Okay, I Emailed Them

I found an email address at the Huffington Post where you can request permission to reprint or use some of their material. I found that really funny, so that’s the email address I wrote to, because I figure THAT recipient would understand the importance of asking permission.

All I said is that I wanted someone to point out to Mr. Alcindor that just because something is located using a search engine doesn’t mean you are free to take it and use it as you want. And yes, I understand that these days you’re taking your chances whenever you post anything to the web, because people steal and steal and steal. One chick had her [not nude] self-portrait taken from Flickr and used in dirty magazine which was VERY VERY BAD because a)she didn’t want to be in a dirty magazine and b)she was under 18. It’s hard for people like me, who have seen all their ad revenue and amazon referrals run completely dry, so that we don’t make ANY money doing this, lose their unique ideas and creative work used elsewhere without permission. I typically grant it whenever asked. But you hafta ask, people.

Used Bidet? No Thanks

Saw a “news” article this morning that something is planning to sell Jerry Garcia’s stereo speakers and bidet.

His bidet.

The thing he used to clean his arse with.

Okay, no offense, but why on earth would someone want to own such a thing? I know that there are people out there who are gigantic fans, still, of his, but really, do you need his bidet? What about his toilet, he probably used that a lot more than the bidet. Or was there a urinal cake somewhere that he peed on?

It looks like the proceeds from this sale will be going to charity, so I’ll cut them a little slack, but please, people, if any of you want to buy my used appliances, contact me offline so we don’t have to deal with the embarrassment of holding a public auction.